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12 Easy Ways for Playground Swing Set Maintenance

child swinging

Swinging moments are happy moments for both kids and the kids at heart. Photo by PROLoren Kerns via Flickr, Creative Commons

A child’s first playground experience may be through the use of swings. Whether it’s at the park, school, or at their backyard play set, everyone can have a thrilling and exciting sensation in every back and forth motion of the swing. And it has benefits as well, since kids can develop motor skills including balancing, locomotion, and body coordination while swinging. Who could ever forget swings as one of the most well-loved, favorite and iconic outdoor playing equipment that reminds us of our childhood memories, and no doubt is still loved by kids of all ages today?

In this first playground equipment maintenance series, we’ll show you how to keep your swings in its best condition so that kids can get the full play experience and swinging sensation, and to avoid mishaps along the way. It is very important to keep a playground maintenance checklist to ensure that you don’t miss out on the important things that need to be checked to be able to say that an equipment is ready for kids’ use. Here are 12 tips to effectively maintain your playground swings:
S Hook

Hooks are meant to be connected and secured.

1. Check if “S” hooks are closed and not excessively worn. This should be one of the first things that need to be checked, as part of your swing set maintenance, since you don’t want kids to ride the swing and then eventually falling because of old S hooks detaching from the cross beams. If worn out, replace it with new ones and do test the strengths of the hook so that kids can safely ride the swings.

2. Look out for possible exposed metal on swing seats. Exposed metal bars or surfaces in swings can cause blisters or burns to kids’ sensitive skin. Replace swing seats which have exposed metal immediately so that kids can safely ride it.
Exposed metal swings

Enjoy the best swinging experience by ensuring that your tire swing has an intact swivel rubber sleeve.
Photo by 12JeepGirl via Flickr, Creative Commons

3. The swivel rubber sleeve of tire swing is in place and not too old. Same as the hooks for regular swings, swivel rubber sleeves are very important in holding the tires and kids during play time. Check if they hold the chains and tires properly so the chances of kids falling while riding tire swings can be avoided.

4. The swing chain is in good condition and not excessively worn, especially at connection points. The swing chain should be able to strongly hold the swing seat while staying connected at the swing’s metal frame. Replace the chain if you hear a squeaky sound due to rust which may cause potential swing incidents.
Swinging and smiling

The free and back-and-forth movement are what kids anticipate when riding a swing. 
Photo by Beth via Flickr, Creative Commons

5. The connectors and chain should have free movement at all times. No one wants to ride a swing that doesn’t move at all and just stays at one place. The swings should move freely when tested to ensure that they are working properly.

6. Ensure safe landing surfaces for swings. Check if kids have a safe landing space so that injuries are avoided and they can go back to swinging. AboutKidsHealth suggests that there should be a soft, deep surface such as sand or wood chips where kids can fall into and it can easily absorb the impact.

7. Pay special attention to the swings joints and connecting points. Ensure that all nuts, bolts, screws and tire swivels are tight and that everything in the swing is complete. A missing part on the swing will not allow the children to safely use it.

Kids can better enjoy their swinging experience with a plastisol coated chain that doesn’t pinch and which provides 
a safe grip.

8. Check for the the wooden swing’s splinters. Wooden swings should have no sharp edges to prevent injuries that may cut through the kid’s skin. The swing’s wooden frame is lifted slightly at times because of dry weather, and this enables splinters to be visible. Do a periodical check and sand it down, or you may treat the frame with a wood stain regularly to reduce the number of potentially harmful splinters. More importantly, look for swing play sets with  lumber that is pre-cut, pre-stained and pre-sanded. Also, make sure that the swing is resistant to any kind of insect damage, rot or decay.

9. The swing’s welds on connecting points should be checked regularly. A good swing should have no breakages and no signs of rusting. Breaking welds and rust can weaken the quality of the swing, and may eventually cause a serious hazard to kids if not solved immediately.

10. For a smooth swinging experience, regularly oil the swings’ moving parts. Have a regular schedule for lubricating the swing’s metallic parts to avoid rusting and stagnant swings. Don’t forget to clean up the swings from oil drops to ensure a clean swing set for kids.

11. Check if your swing has a warranty. Better yet, check if it goes with a lifetime warranty. If there should be any major problem with your swing, you can easily call your manufacturer and they can help you solve it through the warranty that you have.

12. Swings should be installed properly. The post footing should have the right depth for the height and weight of the swing so that it is grounded and secured in place. This will also help you to avoid wobbly swings.

Swings will definitely be one of the kids’ favorite playground equipment. We should always ensure that our swings are in good condition not just to avoid injuries and accidents, but also to be able to fully enjoy the swinging experience that it provides. Be in the know of other safety tips to ensure that kids get the best playing experience that they can have., as a leading and reliable provider of safe and quality swings, can also be your trusted partner in ensuring that your swing sets are in tip-top shape for everyday use of kids, any time of the day.

Learn about the author: Jennifer Holmes